Editor's Note: We highly encourage new investors to soak up as much information as they can from our meet ups, the resources we share and by networking. We do not want to discourage you from learning! Vena brings up a great point in respectfully seeking advice from experienced and active investors. Do you agree? Feel free to comment below.
Newbies: if you want 'help' (i.e. coaching, training, mentoring, etc.) from the busy, successful investors around you, and you don't want to pay for it, there's something you need to be aware of: there are a lot more people who want that than there is time for the smaller number of active investors to GIVE it. Seriously, if every intermediate/advanced investor did nothing but "have lunch with" and "get his brain picked" by everyone who wanted to do that, they'd (and I say this without exaggeration) not have time to do anything else.
That means that even the experienced investor who has a heart for helping out new investors has to have some means of choosing who to devote time to.
Wanna know how they do it? It's generally some combination of these things:
1. The newbie is investing time in his own education. NO ONE wants to teach you everything you need to know about real estate over the phone or over an endless series of lunches. It's too complex and too much to ask. That's why REIA groups and seminars exist--to get you familiar with the strategies and the language. DON'T ask your 'mentor' to bring you up to speed on everything about how to find, evaluate, negotiate, finance, close, and rehab a house, unless you're paying for that service.
2. The newbie is trying to bring value. The whole basis of the real estate business is an exchange of value: I find a great deal, and you pay me to take it off my hands. I have a nice, clean, working house, and you pay me every month to live in it. Why would you think that LEARNING real estate is any different? I have 25+ year's experience, you either pay me to convey it, or you bring me opportunities(ie deals for me to do, or us to do, or money to buy deals) through which I convey it, or you fix my computer or set up my website better or do SOMETHING that I can't or don't want to or don't have the time to do for myself, and we trade. P.S. No, sorry, a free dinner at Wendy's isn't the kind of value I mean...nor is a free dinner at the best restaurant in town. I can do that for myself. And, surprisingly, offering to come to my office and work for me for free probably isn't attractive to most experienced investors either--I don't need free interns of uncertain duration and skill, I need partners and team members with whom I can have at least a medium term relationship.
3. The newbie is taking action. Somewhere in a thread below, someone jumped all over an experienced investor who said that she didn't try very hard to help newbies for free anymore, because there were so many in whom she'd invested a lot of time who then disappeared without ever having done anything. The frustration of seeing that that a newbie CAN be successful, and spending hours trying to coach them to be successful, then having them neglect to take ANY of your advice or do ANY of the things you suggest, is real. And it's painful. And I'm sorry that a lot of newbies have done this to a lot of experienced investors over the years, to the point where they're actually cynical about it, but that's the way it is. Showing that you not only appreciate BUT ARE PUTTING INTO EFFECT the advice you've asked for is important.
How can YOU do some self-education, and provide value, and show that you're taking action? Those are the questions you should be asking yourself, if you really want help from experienced investors.
Vena Jones-Cox "REGoddess"